- Somali Land
“Female entrepreneurs make significant contribution to economic growth and to poverty reduction in Somaliland and the world at large.”
Safiya Balayax, a mother of four, in her mid 40s, lives in Gumburaha, a small village in Somaliland.
Like most of her community, Safiya used to depend on livestock to live. But shortage of water and pasture during droughts threatened her livelihood.
“My life was difficult during drought season and I was hopeless when I saw my livestock dying one by one, having no income to feed my children and it was very tough to put my children into school.”
Today, Safiya is an entrepreneur, owner of her own shop and is able to save money. “I make about $9 per day and I usually use the profit for medical expenses and for my children’s school fees, and I keep savings to grow my business.”
Her life changed after a training, by Oxfam and a local partner: Safiya learnt pastry skills.
A calm and innovative woman, Safiya says she feels empowered now. “I gained skills which I didn’t know before. I received all my start up kits (flour, oil, sugar, baking powder, milk and baking equipments). I now produce 50 biscuits and 50 cakes a day, from different recipes.”
Safiya’s shop is near the village’s main school, and the children seem to love her new skills! “One of the unique things the children found out about Safiya’s products is that they have different shapes and they are soft and sweet, so my kids come here all the time and buy her biscuits.” says one of the moms.
At the end of the day, “there isn’t anything left behind as the villagers purchase all my products.” Safiya also donates cookies, cakes and other pastries during festivities, like weddings and Eid.
Safiya says she’d glad to help other members of her community, especially women, ta gain new skills, so they can transform their lives too.
Photo: Amal Nagib / Oxfam
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